British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey

Careers at British Antarctic Survey

About us

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, it has, for over 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from over thirty countries.

BAS employs over 400 staff, and supports three stations in the Antarctic, at Rothera, Halley and Signy, and two stations on South Georgia, at King Edward Point and Bird Island. The Antarctic operations and science programmes are executed and managed from Cambridge, and rely on a wide-ranging team of professional staff.


Benefits of working for BAS

People who go to the continent are often amazed by what they see and do: the experience is in itself a primary motivation. There is the sense that we are helping to make a difference to key environmental issues. Many cite the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people. There's also the privilege (if that's not overstating the case) of being part of a unique organisation with a unique set of challenges.


What is our culture like?

It is difficult to capture the atmosphere and ethos of an organisation in words; however we do have a framework that exemplifies the culture to which the British Antarctic Survey aspires. This can be described in the following way:

  • POSITIVE: Positive attitude, energy, realism, enjoys the work.
  • RESPONSIBLE: Safety conscious, environmentally friendly, accountable for one's actions, honourable, ethical, open and fair.
  • IMAGINATIVE: Creative, flexible, thinking of better ways, constructively challenging, learning from experience, problem solving, entrepreneurial and outward looking.
  • COOPERATIVE: Open, communicative, caring and loyal to one another, working in the best interests of BAS and science.
  • EXCELLENT: Professional, efficient and effective, successful and recognised, high quality, applying best practice and developing our people.

These cultural values (often referred to as PRICE') provide staff with a framework to ensure that there is a common understanding of what is expected of anyone working for the organisation. If you are considering applying to work for the British Antarctic Survey, it is important that you reflect on these values and consider whether you would feel comfortable in this sort of environment. If you are invited to attend an interview, it is likely that you will be asked about your reaction to these values.


What We Do

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has a long and distinguished history of carrying out research and surveys in the Antarctic and surrounding regions, undertaking most of the British research on the frozen continent. The close linking of our science programmes with essential logistics support makes us very effective in carrying out the complicated and sophisticated scientific field programmes that are necessary today.

As a major research centre of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), we:

  • Provide a national capability for Antarctic science and logistics
  • Carry out scientific research, long-term observations and surveys that cannot be done by anyone else in the UK 
  • Provide a focus for international co-operation and programme co-ordination
  • Concentrate on issues fundamental to NERC's science strategy and conservation of the Antarctic environment.

Behind the scenes